DULUTH — With a full day of rain threatening the final day of the PGA Tour Champions event at TPC Sugarloaf, tournament officials decided to play 36 holds on Saturday. That was still not enough as it took two playoff holes for Steve Flesch to claim his first victory since 2007.
The Mitsubishi Electric Classic featured a field full of former major champions. However, it would take something extra to win the long final day, with Flesch taking two extra holes to first best Bernhard Langer, and then Scott Parel.
The TPC Sugarloaf course was in prime condition for the weekend, with partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures. The senior golfers were all put on to golf carts for Saturday’s rounds to ensure speedy play, and probably reduce the fatigue from playing 36 holes in one day. One notable absence was John Daly, who cancelled his tournament appearance due to an injury suffered in Augusta last week. Reports state Daly was selling memorabilia from his RV at his usual spot near the Hooters restaurant on Washington Road when an errant driver swerved off the road near Daly, nearly striking him. Daly jumped to safety, but injured himself in the process.
Flesch, Langer, and Parel earned a spot in the playoff at -11 under par. Langer was the first to be eliminated, with a second hole needed to knock out Parel.
Flesch, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, earned his first Champions victory with the win. The Tour travels to Branson, Missouri next week.